Barbecued Chicken with Tamarind


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

This is a lovely sweet and sour combination. You can buy ready-made tamarind water these days, but I think it’s better if you make your own by soaking tamarind pulp in hot water — it tends to be thicker and more fruit flavoured.


  • 1.6 kg (3 lb 8 oz) free-range or organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large handful of mixed herbs such as coriander (cilantro), mint and Thai basil
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded and cut into julienne
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into julienne


    To make the marinade, mix together the coriander seeds, tamarind water, palm sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sea salt and white pepper, add the chicken pieces and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Drain the chicken and reserve the marinade.

    To cook the chicken, heat the barbecue to hot. Brush the grill with vegetable oil and place the chicken skin-side-down. Cook for 5 minutes before turning, and then cook for another 5 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove the chicken and leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, put the reserved marinade in a wok and simmer over high heat until it reduces and thickens slightly. Arrange the chicken, skin-side-up, on a serving plate, then pour the marinade over the top. Mix the herbs, chillies and spring onions together and scatter over the chicken to serve.